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Stars Look to Keep Rolling in San Jose

Wednesday, 02.05.2014 / 4:20 PM / Inside Edge
By Mark Stepneski
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Stars Look to Keep Rolling in San Jose
The Dallas Stars will look to make it three for three on their road trip when they take on the Sharks in San Jose tonight.

The Dallas Stars will look to make it three for three on their road trip when they take on the Sharks in San Jose tonight.

The Stars enter tonight’s game two points out of the final wild card playoff spot in the Western Conference. A win over the Sharks would push them into that spot based on the points percentage tiebreaker.

The Stars have won the first two games of their trip, defeating Anaheim 2-0 Saturday night and then knocking off Phoenix 3-1 last night. Overall, the Stars are 5-1-1 over their last seven games, and they’ve allowed just nine goals during that stretch.

“It starts with defending. We’ve been defending well,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “We made some bigger mistakes in last night’s game than we’ve been typically making, but overall the defending, it starts there. When you make it tough to play against and the opposition finds it hard to get chances, it’s a good step to turn things around.”

The Sharks enter tonight’s game with four losses in their last five games and putting the puck in the net has been an issue. They’ve scored just four goals over those five games and they’ve been shut out twice.

“The first decision we have to make is whether or not we want to work. Until that decision is made and we decide we all want to compete together for a full 60, it doesn’t really matter what we have as far as a game plan goes,” said Sharks coach Todd McLellan. “Right now the jump we have in our game is minimal. The tenacity level Dallas has it at a maximum right now. There is an offset right there. We’re going to have to get to loose pucks. We’re going to have to be strong and have our noses over those pucks to have possession to begin with. After that we’ve got to be in motion, we’ve got to be moving, we’ve got to have our shoot and get it back game, which we haven’t had. There are number of adjustments we can make, but the biggest one is deciding.”

Both teams held optional skates this morning. It appears Kari Lehtonen will make a second straight start for the Stars. Kevin Connauton could be back in defense for the Stars with Aaron Rome being the healthy scratch.

Alex Stalock was the first goaltender off the ice for the Sharks, so it looks like he’ll be in net for San Jose. Stalock stopped 44 of 46 shots in the Sharks 3-2 shootout win over the Stars in San Jose on Dec. 21.

Sharks forward Adam Burish, who has yet to play this season due to back surgery, is expected to be in the lineup tonight.

Wednesday’s game

Who: Dallas Stars at San Jose Sharks
Where: SAP Center, San Jose
When: 9:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

Stars projected lineup

Jamie BennTyler SeguinValeri Nichushkin
Erik ColeCody EakinRich Peverley
Antoine RousselVernon FiddlerRyan Garbutt
Ray WhitneyShawn HorcoffAlex Chiasson

Alex GoligoskiTrevor Daley
Jordie BennBrenden Dillon
Kevin ConnautonSergei Gonchar

Kari Lehtonen
Dan Ellis

Sharks projected lineup

Matt Nieto - Joe Thornton - Brent Burns
Patrick Marleau - Joe Pavelski - Tommy Wingels
James Sheppard - Bracken Kearns - Martin Havlat
Adam Burish - Andrew Desjardins - Mike Brown

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Justin Braun
Matt Irwin - Dan Boyle
Scott Hannan - Brad Stuart

Alex Stalock
Antti Niemi

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 NSH 62 41 14 7 188 147 89
2 ANA 62 38 17 7 182 174 83
3 STL 61 39 18 4 190 152 82
4 CHI 62 37 20 5 183 146 79
5 WPG 63 31 20 12 174 170 74
6 VAN 61 35 23 3 174 162 73
7 MIN 61 32 22 7 173 160 71
8 LAK 60 29 19 12 162 153 70
9 CGY 61 33 24 4 174 158 70
10 SJS 62 30 24 8 173 177 68
11 DAL 61 27 25 9 191 202 63
12 COL 61 26 24 11 161 175 63
13 ARI 62 20 35 7 137 210 47
14 EDM 62 18 34 10 142 206 46

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 61 23 37 -1 60
T. Seguin 55 29 30 0 59
J. Spezza 61 14 37 -3 51
E. Cole 56 18 14 4 32
J. Klingberg 47 10 22 4 32
T. Daley 58 16 15 -11 31
A. Hemsky 55 9 17 -7 26
A. Goligoski 61 2 24 4 26
C. Eakin 58 12 13 -3 25
A. Roussel 59 11 11 -11 22
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Lehtonen 25 13 9 .906 2.96
J. Enroth 13 24 2 .900 3.31
 
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